Halloween Outreach:

A Spiritual Reflection

Sarah Wilkins, Saturday, October 31, 2015

Every Halloween night, while the Campton NH community is out braving the cold trick-or-treating, our church opens its doors to provide candy, donuts, popcorn and hot drinks.  Usually, my post is right by the door, greeting the hundreds of people who pass through.  Tonight, as I was sitting there, I had this thought.

Sitting inside, especially by the door, one might feel like the building is cold.  Yet the people coming in are even colder, grateful for the warmth.  In the same way, those who might have trusted Christ as their Savior at an early age or at least several years prior might start to 'grow cold' in a sense...having studied the basics of the Bible for a while, having gone to church every Sunday, some might fall into a sprirtual rut.  Nothing about the Christian faith sounds exciting anymore.  At times, we might even start to question why we do what we do.  And that's okay.  Because when we're asking, we're seeking answers.  We're opening our eyes and paying attention.  And we're noticing....

We're noticing the people coming into the warmth for the very first time.  We're noticing the look in their eyes...the way they take off their masks and dive in to all there is God has to offer.  And we realize what this is all about.

So why do some churches open their doors on Halloween?  It's so that the community can see a picture of what the church is supposed to be like.  It's family.  It's love.  It's an oasis of warmth where people from every background can come in and take off their masks and stay a while, getting their needs taken care of, both physical and spiritual.  And when I say masks, I don't necessarily mean the ones worn on Halloween.  It's the masks we wear every day, whether we know it or not.  But God sees what's underneath.  He sees to the depth of our hearts and beyond, and yet He still loves us...Loves us enough that he sent His Son to take up all our sin...past, present and future, and die on the cross.  But He didn't stay dead...He overcame death itself and has paved the way to His Father and yours.  And that's the truth...the simple yet profound truth that people experience for the first time.  And it's amazing to see.

And it takes many different talents and gifts and abilities to make this sort of outreach possible.  You might be out by the  door, greeting and being the first face people see, or you might be further in, serving up hot drinks or candy.  Or you might just be sitting or standing around, striking up conversations with people.  In the same way, the day to day mission of the church requires different people performing different tasks as their talents and abilities vary.  It takes every single person, whether up on stage or hidden in the background, for everything to come together smoothly.  No one is more valuable or important than another. 
We are a team...A family....An oasis of love.




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